Has George W. Bush publicly supported torture

Advertisements against members of the Bush administration : Torture practices of the CIA: US President and staff to go to court

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin today filed a criminal complaint with the Attorney General against the former head of the US secret service CIA George Tenet, against the former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and against other members of the government of the former US President George W. Bush submitted. ECCHR accuses Tenet, Rumsfeld and numerous other people of war crimes of torture under the International Criminal Code. The US Senate Intelligence Committee recently found torture in its report on the CIA interrogation methods. "The architects of the torture system - politicians, civil servants, secret service agents, lawyers and high-ranking army personnel - belong in court," said ECCHR General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck in a press release. Kaleck has also been invited to the Bundestag Legal Committee on this subject today. "By investigating the members of the Bush administration, Germany can help ensure that those responsible for kidnappings, abuse and illegal imprisonment do not go unpunished."

The report of the US Senate explicitly devotes a section to the case of the German citizen Khaled al Masri, who was abducted by CIA agents in 2004 because of a name mix-up and tortured in a secret detention center in Afghanistan. The report states "that the then CIA director, after discovering the illegality, explicitly refused to take any further action against those responsible in this specific case," says the criminal complaint.

The ECCHR demands that the Federal Prosecutor General Harald Range investigate Tenet, Rumsfeld and the other accused and immediately start a so-called observation process. This enables the German authorities "to be able to act immediately in the event of a suspect entering the European legal area and not have to first get into the complex investigations and legal considerations."

Together with the US organization Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Kaleck filed criminal charges against Tenet and Rumsfeld in Germany in 2004 and 2006 and against Bush in Switzerland in 2011. ECCHR is involved in proceedings relating to the US Guantanamo prison camp in Spain and France. The current criminal complaint from ECCHR is supported by the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak, the CCR in New York with its President Emeritus Michael Ratner and its Vice-President Peter Weiss, the winner of the Martin Ennals Award 2014 Alejandra Ancheita, the professor for international affairs and Public law at the Free University of Brussels Annemie Schaus, the professor for criminal law, at the University of Hamburg Florian Jeßberger and the Berlin lawyer Dieter Hummel.

Previously, left-wing parliamentary group leader Gregor Gysi had already filed a criminal complaint against former US President George W. Bush because of allegations of torture against the secret service CIA. The Tagesspiegel has Gysi's letter to the Attorney General. After the torture report by the US Senate, the first politician becomes active in Germany. In a letter to Attorney General Harald Range, Gregor Gysi, parliamentary group leader of the Left in the Bundestag, demands the immediate start of investigations against former US President George W. Bush, his then Vice-President Dick Cheney, former CIA chief George Tenet, two military psychologists as well as against unknown. Literally it says in the letter:

"The torture practices made known by the Senate report include serious bodily harm, extortion, kidnapping and, at least in one case, murder. The type of crime committed by relatives and commissioned employees of the CIA reveals in part deeply bestial and sadistic motives, inclinations and methods of those involved. "

Gysi justifies his move with doubts that there will be an indictment in the USA: "According to all judicial officers in the United States of America, there is no willingness to prosecute these crimes there, although the United States of America is known to have acceded to the UN Convention against Torture." Gysi, who works as a lawyer himself, sees the Federal Attorney General as being responsible.

Last week the US Senate published a report on US interrogation methods in the war on terror in the years 2002 to 2009. These included the notorious “waterboarding” (simulated drowning) and the need to persevere in a painful position. Bush was US President from 2001 to 2009. (lha / Tsp / dpa)

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